Gary Peter Fitterer

July 7, 1946 – June 28, 2016

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Gary Peter Fitterer

Gary Fitterer

Gary’s character and cheerful disposition will be missed by all who knew him. Our lives are enriched by our experiences with him and his love for nature and his many talents of writing, research and artistry.

Gary was born July 7, 1946 in Dickinson, North Dakota to Louis and Magdalena Fitterer. At the age of 3 his family moved to Yakima, Washington where he lived most of his childhood, later the family moved to Juanita, Washington. Gary graduated from Lake Washington High School, Kirkland, Washington in 1964. He enlisted in the Army November, 1965 and served until November 1967. During his Army service he served in Vietnam where he was awarded the Purple Heart and other honors. After the service Gary went to Burnley School of Art in Seattle.

Gary was extremely passionate for the outdoors and photography. He lived to hike and to take incredible pictures. His favorite spots to go hiking were in the Cascade Mountains in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Throughout the 1970s he hiked with Bob Hiatt, Mark Karst, and the Landdeck family which he always loved to reminisce about. Gary produced thousands of pictures capturing these memories forever. Gary’s other favorite passions were music, books, and movies; in particular, surf music, science fiction and fantasy novels, the history of the Wild West, and western movies. He had a large library of books, music, and movies that he was very proud of. Gary spent many years of his life researching into his families’ genealogical records. He also spent over 20 years researching and writing on the Wild West American Lawman Alfred Allee. One of Gary’s proudest accomplishments was to co-author a book alongside his good friend Chuck Parsons entitled “Captain C.B. McKinney: The Law in South Texas”.

Gary FittererAfter his retirement in 2009, Gary enjoyed many hours sharing laughs and smiles each week with a small group of friends at Juanita Bay Gary and the BoysPark in Kirkland, WA. Each Sunday evening he visited with his best friend Peter Bestle and his wife Tora where they often enjoyed authentic German dishes. In 2009 he went on a long road trip across the United States vising 7 National Parks with his son Noah. In April of 2010, Gary gained a daughter as he got to see his oldest son Jesse marry his loving wife Kim in Buffalo. A few years later he went on an overseas trip to Odesa and other European countries with the Germans from Russia Heritage Group with his uncle Frank Fitterer. In September 2014 Gary and the 5 cousins that form “The Super 6” (Gary Schulz, Dennis Wolf, Ernie Schulz, Leroy Schmidt, and Gary Schulz) whom were all born between June and December of 1946, got together in Dickinson, North Dakota. It was the first time all 6 of them were together since 1964. In the last few years of Gary’s life he heavily pursued his photography interest again with his close friends at Juanita Bay Park. Gary always found ways to stay happily busy with the many passions he devoted his life to.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Ron, and survived by his sons, Jesse (Kim) and Noah, his sister Corrine Orth (Jeff), his brothers Bob, Gordon, Russell (Lori), Brian (Kathy), Nephew and Nieces, Aunts and Uncles and many other caring relatives and friends.

A celebration of Life will be held Saturday July 9 in a private family celebration. Gary will be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery with military honors at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund or Vietnam Veterans of America Fund or your favorite charity.

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